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Wrestling / Travis Banks

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The Kiwi Buzzsaw (photo by Ringside Perspective)

"The Kiwi Buzzsaw" Travis Banks (born Travis Bligh; February 15, 1987) is a professional wrestler from New Zealand, currently wrestling in promotions such as Progress Wrestling, Fight Club: Pro, Revolution Pro Wrestling and Defiant Wrestling. Originally born in Australia but moving to New Zealand, he started professional wrestling training at the tender age of 21 and has since worked his way up to being one of the most successful wrestlers from the country. In 2018 he was signed by the WWE as part of the newborn NXT UK brand; he made his debut at the UK Championship Tournament 2018, losing the finals against Zack Gibson.

He is a former Progress Wrestling World Champion, former Rev Pro British Tag Team Champion with Chris Brookes as CCK, a former Fight Club: Pro Champion, the inaugural Lucha Forever champion, a two-time IPW New Zealand Heavyweight Champion, the winner of the 2017 Super Strong Style 16 tournament for Progress, and former Defiant Internet Title champion.

In 2020 Banks was fired by both WWE and Progress Wrestling after Millie Mckenzie provided proof he had been in an abusive relationship with her when he was her trainer.

Travis! Travis! Travis F'n Tropes!:

  • Aborted Arc: His partnership with Pete Dunne in WCPW as Strong Style Collective ended when the Bruiserweight joined the WWE UK Championship Tournament.
  • Accidental Kiss: At Chapter 41, while teaming with the South Pacific Power Couple against F.S.U and Nixon Newell. Eddie Dennis grabbed Dahlia and threatened to kiss her, and T.K. Cooper responded by threatening to kiss Newell. Following suit, Mark Andrews threatened to kiss Banks, which led to much confusion from everybody else in the ring (and chants from the crowd of "We don't judge!"). While Banks and Andrews try to provoke each other to follow through with the threat, Cooper and Newell dropkicked the two into what the commentating booth described as a "good-old double lip-lock", which Travis seemed to enjoy. One bashful pause and a handshake later, both men leave the ring and the match continues.
  • Arch-Enemy:
  • Determinator: There's a reason why Glen Joseph calls him "The Kiwi Terminator".
  • Finishing Move: The Kiwi Crusher (a Fisherman's Driver), the Lion's Clutch (an Arm Trap Crossface, made famous by Johnny Gargano), and the Slice Of Heaven (a Springboard Enzugiri out of the corner)
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • Banks underwent a slower variation of this in Progress in the build-up to the 2017 Super Strong Style 16. Starting from his tag team title match at Chapter 45 against the much-hated British Strong Style, the South Pacific Power Trip were the default good guys throughout the match. He then began showing much more respect for his opponents, calling off T.K Cooper at the start of his match against Jordan Devlin at Chapter 44 and even getting T.K Cooper to show respect to Jack Sexsmith after their match at Chapter 46 despite the rivalry between the two. After the South Pacific Power Couple left the UK Wrestling scene due to visa issues, he built himself back up to be a force to be reckoned with as a singles competitor. Once he was entered into Super Strong Style 16, the rest is history.
    • In Defiant, this was the result of him getting the boot out of The Prestige and reforming CCK with Kid Lykos and Chris Brookes at Defiant #1.
  • Large Ham: His facial expressions in comedic moments are fantastically over the top and hilarious. Especially applicable when he's Stupid Sexy Travis - see Sexier Alter Ego
  • Power Stable: Several, in fact.
    • CCK (Commonwealth Catch Kings), with Chris Brookes and Kid Lykos.
    • The South Pacific Power Trip, with the South Pacific Power Couple T.K. Cooper and Dahlia Black.
    • The WCPW incarnation of The Prestige, with Joe Hendry, Joe Coffey, B.T. Gunn and El Ligero.
    • In Attack! Pro Wrestling, from July 2016 to August 2017, he was known as Sgt Banks and was part of the Anti-Fun Police alongside "Chief Deputy" Damian Dunne, Los Federales Santos Sr, Los Federales Santos Jr, and the Hunter Brothers (Jim and Lee Hunter) as the Brothers of Obstruction (Jim and Leigh Obstruction).
  • Red Baron: The Kiwi Buzzsaw.
  • Revenge Before Reason: At Defiant #5. He would have beaten Austin Aries for the Defiant World Title if he hadn't focused on taking down his former stablemates of The Prestige, El Ligero and Joe Hendry, which allowed Aries to recover and pin him.
  • Sexier Alter Ego: 'Stupid Sexy Travis', a version of Banks that first appeared in Attack! Pro Wrestling in 2017. Involves Banks wearing a string vest, gold chains, trucker cap and sunglasses and dancing (or more accurately, gyrating) his way to the ring to 'Rappers Delight' by The Sugarhill Gang, and that's just the start. He's also appeared in this guise at a Fight Club Pro and Attack Pro Wrestling crossover show and teamed with other wrestlers as similarly dressed 'stupid sexy' versions of themselves.
  • Tag Team:
    • The Strong Style Collective, with Pete Dunne, in WCPW.
    • The South Pacific Power Trip, with T.K. Cooper.
  • Third Wheel: When teaming with the South Pacific Power Couple, who make it a point to violently french kiss each other in the middle of the ring while he claps politely on the sidelines. He doesn't seem to mind, though.
  • Tournament Arc:
  • Ur-Example: First non-Brit to win the Progress World Championship in the over 5 year history of the company. note . Though the secondary "Atlas Division" championship was held for most of the same year by American wrestler Matt Riddle.
  • Wearing a Flag on Your Head: A bandanna with the flag of New Zealand on it for his entrances.
    • Also his kneepads - one is the New Zealand silver fern flag, the other is the Union Jack.